If I’ve learnt anything this year so far, it’s that we could all do with giving ourselves a bloody break once in a while. It’s okay not to be “on it” every minute of the day, it’s okay not to be productive every single day of your life and it’s certainly okay to feel like crap – for a multitude of reasons or for no reason at all – every now and again. One of the main changes I’ve made to my life this year is listening to my body and mind and giving myself what I need or want at any given time rather than ignoring it and powering through when I really shouldn’t be.
I’ve incorporated this mind-set into food; after I set myself some food-related goals at the beginning of the year and realised they were doing more harm than good and encouraging restrictive eating rather than intuitive eating. I’ve also incorporated this into my exercise routine; I do a lot of Yoga – every day if I can – but some days, it just doesn’t work out. And that’s fine. I’ve just learnt to roll with the tide whenever I’m not feeling 100% for whatever reason and I’ll let you in to a secret… it will change your life.
So, with my new mind-set in mind and my new lust for “doing what feels right” mentality, how has that affected things? Well, like I said, I’m learning to cut myself some God damn slack. Nobody wants to feel crap but at the end of the day, we’re going to at some point or another. Break-ups, arguments, illness, stress – you name it. And it’s times like these where we need to do what’s right for us, focus on our self-care and treat ourselves because we deserve it. Here’s some things that I like to treat myself to when I’m feeling like sh*t:
I have a wonderful lady who I’ve been having massages with for over a year now and when you’re stressed or not feeling 100%, I couldn’t recommend going for a massage enough. The relaxing music, the smell of the oils and release of all that tension really is the epitome of self-care for me.
A new book
You all know I love books and reading is my biggest hobby and biggest passion so I think when we’re feeling shite, we need to revert back to that thing we love, that thing that’s ours, that thing that you wouldn’t be you without. For me, that’s books. Throw me in a library and I’ll already feel 10x better (don’t literally throw me).
Restrictive eating and diet culture can do one and that’s another thing I’ve learnt this year. “Bad” food or “cheat” food is just another way for society to make us feel awful about what we’re eating and about ourselves. It’s food. We literally need it to survive. I’m not saying always eating junk food and takeaways is the way to go but what I am saying is that if you fancy a McDonald’s or a pizza just eat one. Especially if you feel crap and that’s one thing that’s going to make you happy for a little while.
Not all “treats” have to be physical things that we need to use money to pay for! I think a nap is the perfect way to take care of yourself when you’re feeling crap. I’ve learnt to listen to my body and if it’s telling me to nap, then I do. Even if it’s in the middle of the day but if you’re having a crap day, a nap is never a bad idea.
Playing a game for hours and doing no work
I’m such a goal-orientated and motivated person that I find it hard to switch off from “to-do list mode”. I always have to be doing something, in order to achieve something else and when I’m feeling rubbish, the work I do is going to be rubbish as well. So there’s no point in forcing something. When I’m in this sort of state, I try and forget about anything productive and play a game for hours instead. It’s a great way to switch off and my games of choice are usually The Sims, Rollercoaster Tycoon or Spyro the Dragon!